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Returning an item
Here's what to expect when you need to return an item.
Return an item
Before you request a return, check the seller's return policy in the listing for the seller's return period and other information.
To return an item for a refund or replacement:
Things to keep in mind:
Return shipping charges
Either you or the seller is responsible for return shipping charges, depending on the seller's return policy and the reason for the return. In most cases, sellers require that buyers pay for return shipping, but some sellers offer free return shipping—check the Return policy section of the listing. If you're returning an item because it isn't as described in the listing, the seller is responsible for return shipping charges, regardless of the seller's return policy.
When you're responsible for return shipping charges, we charge your PayPal account if you ship the item using our shipping label. We may ask you to accept a billing agreement to authorize payment for these kinds of charges.
When you want to return an item using alternative shipping arrangements, and the seller is responsible for the return shipping charges, you must work with the seller to agree on the shipping service and cost before returning the item.
Return shipping charges when using eBay shipping labels
Anytime you use an eBay return shipping label, returns are shipped by either USPS First-Class or Priority Mail, depending on the item's cost, package weight, and delivery time.
In some instances, return shipping charges may not be based on the actual weight of the package, but are an estimate. These charges are based on rates eBay negotiated with the USPS and are typically less than what you would pay at the post office for the same item. If you've used an eBay generated label for the outbound shipping, the cost of the return shipping label will never exceed this amount.
Most refunds are automatically adjusted for any applicable restocking fees or shipping charges.
When the item isn't as described:
If you return an item because it's not as described in the listing, arrives damaged, or is missing parts, then your refund is:
In these situations, the seller can't charge a restocking fee and the seller pays the return shipping charges.
All other returns:
If you return an item for any other reason, including changing your mind about a purchase, the seller can keep any restocking fee specified in the listing Return policy.
In these situations, your original shipping charge usually isn't refunded. Check the listing Return policy for specifics on shipping charges. You may also have to pay the return shipping charges.
For this type of return, your refund is usually the total purchase price, including item cost, sales tax, and other charges, less:
When to ask us to step in and help
Most returns and refunds go smoothly, but if a seller doesn't issue you a refund, you can ask us to step in and help. Depending on the seller's return method, timelines may differ. We guide you to the correct timing as part of your return request in My eBay, but for reference:
If you use alternative shipping arrangements, return shipping charges won't be included in any eBay Money Back Guarantee refunds, even if the seller agreed to pay return shipping charges. Learn more about the eBay Money Back Guarantee.
Some sellers may offer you the option of returning an item for a replacement instead of a refund. A replacement is an item that is exactly the same as the original item was described in the listing.
You can request a replacement if:
Things to keep in mind when requesting a replacement:
When to ask us to step in and help with the eBay Money Back Guarantee
Learn more about the eBay Money Back Guarantee.
Some sellers may offer you the option of exchanging an item.
For exchanges—for a different size or color, for example—a seller may explicitly offer exchanges in the listing Return policy. We ask that you contact the seller directly before starting a return. You can contact the seller from My eBay.
Alternative return shipping arrangements
You may need to use alternative shipping arrangements when:
Insurance isn't available for return shipments. If either you or the seller prefers that an item be returned with insurance, purchase your own return postage instead of using the return shipping label provided.
For each return requested through My eBay, we generally provide one return shipping label. If you find that you need multiple return shipping labels to ship multiple packages back to the seller, contact the seller to make alternate shipping arrangements for the packages.
An eBay return shipping label is only available for items within the USPS size and weight guidelines for the shipping service that's used.
If the package is outside of USPS guidelines, you need to make alternative shipping arrangements.
An eBay return shipping label isn't available if the expected shipping charges exceed the expected refund or the refund value of a replacement.
Contact the seller to agree on alternative shipping arrangements or, in the case of local pickup, a way of getting the item back to seller safely.
When the seller is responsible for return shipping charges and you need to make alternative shipping arrangements, contact the seller to agree on the service and cost before sending the item. Make sure that you include the packing slip, tracking, and for items valued at $750 or more, signature confirmation.
When using alternative shipping arrangements, either you or the seller pays for return shipping charges.
Frequently asked questions
If you've missed the deadline to start a return, you can contact the seller to see if the seller is willing to accept a late return. Use Messages in My eBay when contacting the seller to keep a record of your conversation.
We ask that you ship back the item to the seller within 5 business days. If 6 business days have passed since you started a return for a refund, and you haven't sent the item yet, contact the seller to see if they're still willing to accept your return. Use Messages in My eBay when contacting the seller to keep a record of your conversation.
You can see the status of your return request in My eBay—we show you tracking details for the return package, let you know when the item has been delivered to the seller, and when you can expect your refund. If it's been 6 business days since the returned item was delivered to the seller and the seller hasn't refunded you, you can ask us to step in and help.
Important: If you shipped the item later than the seller's stated time frame, we don't require the seller to issue a refund.
You can see the status of both your return and the replacement item in My eBay. We show you tracking details for both the returned item and the seller's replacement, and let you know when the item has been delivered to the seller and when the seller has shipped the replacement. If 5 business days have passed since you started the return and the seller hasn't shipped the replacement item to you, we treat the return as a refund.
Sellers can deduct a restocking fee for returned items. Sellers state any restocking fees in the Return policy section of the listing.
We typically allow a little extra time for delivery. After sufficient time has passed, and the seller still hasn't received your returned item, you can ask us to step in and help.
In most cases, sellers handle returns quickly and easily. However, you may want to ask us to step in and help with the eBay Money Back Guarantee in a few instances:
Learn more about the eBay Money Back Guarantee.
You have one opportunity to return an item or multiple items for each transaction, depending on the listing:
Contact the seller directly when you start your return request.
In some cases, before you can print the shipping label for your return, we may need to verify a few details with the seller. The label is printable within 3 business days.
When using an eBay shipping label, you can reprint a return shipping label, but you can only use one label.
If a return requires multiple packages, work with the seller to make alternate shipping arrangements for either the remaining packages or for all of the packages.
Misuse of returns or the eBay Money Back Guarantee
If we determine that you've abused returns on eBay or the eBay Money Back Guarantee, you may be subject to a range of actions, including limits on buying and selling privileges and account suspension. Examples include:
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